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Everyone has been there.
Your good friend’s partner is awful and then some. As hard as it may be, restrain your true feelings. Telling them how you really feel is a mistake. Here’s why.
1. They will not leave.
Even the most well-grounded of us has a stubborn streak—especially when it comes to loved ones. Your friend might just rebel against you to enact their star-crossed lovers’ fantasy. Two words: Romeo and Juliet.
2. Your friend will most likely leave you instead.
Can you really blame them? They aren’t getting the sexy time from you. You’re not cuddling them late into the night. It’s all about those priorities. Besides…
3. You’ve turned into a b*tch.
You’ve just spat negativity all over your friend’s relationship. They probably don’t want to talk to you right now. It’s as simple as that.
Sex and the City perfectly sums up the friend’s-horrible-significant-other problem. The girls say this:
Miranda: Telling your friend to leave her husband is something you just don’t do.
Samantha: If she does break up with him it’s your fault. If she doesn’t break up with him, she knows that you think that she should, and therefore can never speak to you again. Either way you’re screwed.
(“The Awful Truth.” Sex and the City. 1999)
16 years on that episode and this conversation still rings true.
If you truly cannot stand your friend’s significant other, discuss it with them, but follow these rules.
1. Wait for your friend to approach you first.
There’s no need for you to dish unwarranted on your friend’s partner. One day, your friend will come to you for advice. In this scenario, it is expected for you to express your feelings. Do it, but…
2. Do not put words in their mouth.
The phrase, “You should break up with them” must not be spoken. As, Samantha says, if your friend chooses to stay with their partner, she can never speak to you again if you previously advised her to leave.
3. Do tell them that they deserve more.
Everyone needs a healthy dose of reassurance. In our culture, we are told over and over that to have a successful relationship, we need to work on it. There are some things that cannot be fixed. Tell your friend they deserve more because chances are, they most likely do.
4. Tell them what you do not like of their partner.
It is crucial that you highlight what is exclusively wrong with their significant other. Perhaps your friend has never noticed these characteristics before or they couldn’t quite put a name to these behaviors. Tell them, but try to remain dispassionate. (It’s natural to be biased toward your friend, but they need you to remain analytical because they’re already so emotional. This will help them make the best decision.)
5. Balance this by telling them what you do like of their partner.
It’s always important to discuss what you like about a person as well as what you dislike. Too many times we focus on the negative in life. It’s important to combat these urges with feelings of positivity. Discussing your friend’s partner in a positive light will be beneficial to you and your friend because: one, you will feel generally better about the discussed person after manifesting positive thoughts, and two, your friend will feel better because they will know that you are not attacking their choices. This brings us to the final point…
6. Assure your friend that you support them no matter what.
This is the most important rule. Whenever discussing a sensitive topic such as this, make it evidently clear that whether your friend stays with their partner or not—you support them 100 percent. If you do that, your friend will be able to navigate the relationship, make up their own mind, while knowing that you are by their side.
Relationships need to run their course. We can talk until we are blue in the face about why our friend should terminate their courtship. However, your friend needs to make their own decisions. Don’t try to live their life for them. We can never know exactly what another person needs in that specific time of their life. They will decide what the best course of action is for themselves.
In the meantime, it is important to be supportive and always have your friend’s back no matter what…even if you really, really hate their partner.
Author: Brittany Ann Bandemer
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Francisco Osorio/Flickr